Airtight Design

Atlanta web development & internet consulting

Contact us to get a ballpark quote for your new website. We will also visit your place of business anywhere in metro Atlanta.

659 Auburn Ave. Suite 251, Atlanta, GA 30312

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Autotrader Specialty

Founded in 1977 as a regional auto classified magazine, Autotrader has grown to become the most recognized brand in the auto advertising industry. In 1997, was launched and they’ve continued to innovate and branch into many niches in the industry, including online classified sites for classic cars, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles (RVs), which make up the Autotrader Specialty family of websites.  Airtight has maintained a strong partnership with Autotrader and their parent company Cox Automotive for over a decade, so when they entrusted us to build and manage the Specialty family of sites, we were very excited.

The Challenge

In 2015, Autotrader wanted to expand its presence in the classic car business, and enter the market for motorcycles, and RVs. At that point many competitors had been in business for several years, with sites that already had tens of thousands of listings, millions of visitors, and high search rankings. It was an ambitious undertaking to build three sites – all of which have unique audiences that could compete with established competitors. 

For each site, three audiences exist: vehicle shoppers, car/motorcycle/RV dealers, and private sellers, adding to the complexity of the challenge. Furthermore the sites would need to connect to numerous external services, such as payment gateways, fraud prevention services, ad networks, inventory management software and more.

The Solution

Airtight built the three Specialty web applications using PHP on the back-end. The sites serve several hundred thousand registered buyers and sellers. The custom dealer/seller portal allows dealers to easily manage their listings and track lead activity, and the custom CMS allows for relevant articles and content to be created and published to the sites.

Our DevOps team manages the AWS servers for the sites, which now get hundreds of millions of pageviews from tens of millions of unique users. Defending the site from intrusion and fraud is a continual concern for such high-profile sites, but we have successfully met the challenge.

Technology Used on this Project

  • PHP
  • HTML / CSS / JavaScript
  • Amazon Web Services
  • React.js
  • Vue.js
  • CakePHP
  • MySQL
  • APIs
  • Akamai
  • Solr

Our Favorite Part

Airtight has always strived to improve the user experience (UX) for both shoppers and sellers. With nearly 70% of traffic coming from a mobile device, we’ve been laser-focused on making impactful mobile optimizations and have recently built iOS and Android apps to enhance that experience.

Our React.js based search filtering and ability to save vehicles and searches has lent itself to a loyal and ever-growing user base.

For sellers, our recently released React.js ad builder application allows sellers to quickly create and preview an ad for their vehicle in real time. This has led to an increase in volume of paid listings and happy sellers.